Anyone who has been to Florida knows that it’s one of the most scenic states in the country. From beaches to forests, Florida pretty much has it all and that’s what makes it such a great place to visit.
So it should be no surprise that Florida has some excellent hiking trails, and after living here for over 20 years I will give you some of my favorite places to go.
Ancient Hammock Trail
The Ancient Hammock Trail is called ancient because it’s one of Florida’s oldest forests and allows you to experience Florida in its most primal and untouched state.
The trail is a part of Highlands Hammock State Park, but the Ancient Hammock Trail is regarded as the most scenic of all the trails and also its best preserved. The trail meanders through cabbage palms and live oaks that are hundreds of years old and possible older, and while the trail itself is a little short, rest assured it is worth the hike.
The Anhiga trail is a part of Everglades National Park. It is often one of the only parts of the park many Florida visitors see, due to it being just a short distance from the park entrance. That doesn’t take away from how scenic this trail is however.
If you are looking to see some of Florida’s wildlife, this is a excellent place to for it. Along the trail you will see the many birds that inhabit the park such as herons, anhingas and egrets. If you take it slow and pay attention you should also see alligators and turtles in the marshes.
Keep in mind the ‘look, don’t touch’ mentality to avoid any unfriendly encounters with the wildlife. The alligators, while not aggressive, you don’t want to approach them.
If you are able to make it down to this area of Florida, you owe it to yourself to see the Everglades National Park, you will see some best hiking Florida has to offer.
Amberjack Environmental Park
Amberjack Environmental Park is a conservation area of roughly two hundred and twenty five acres, comprised mostly of scrub brush and mangrove trees at the Cape Haze peninsula. You access the park through a mangrove tunnel, and the north end of the peninsula is an excellent location for bird watching.
While you cannot see the ocean the entire hike because of the mangroves, there are plenty of viewing areas along the way. This park is classic Florida with its pine flat woods and scrub brush.
It shouldn’t take you more than a few hours to walk the entire trail if you don’t stop but I would recommend you stop at the observation areas and take in the view. The trail is not paved and can be a bit rough in areas, I like to use hiking poles to make it easier.
Florida has an abundance of hiking trails that will allow you to experience and enjoy Florida’s amazing scenery. The three I have mentioned here are but a sample of them, though some of the most beautiful. No matter where you are in the state you can probably find a hiking trail perfect for you.